A federal administrative law judge has ruled in favor of home improvement chain Home Depot in a lawsuit filed by employees who were barred by the company from wearing Black Lives Matter imagery.
According to Fox Business, the judge noted in a Friday ruling that by banning the imagery, the company was not violating workers’ rights.
The outlet noted:
The US National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel had claimed the company was violating federal law by preventing staff from wearing “Black Lives Matter” imagery on their aprons which administrative law judge Paul Bogas disagreed with, according to Bloomberg.
Bogas wrote that the Black Lives Matter labels did not possess “an objective, and sufficiently direct, relationship to terms and conditions of employment.”
The judge added that the Black Lives Matter message “originated, and is primarily used, to address the unjustified killings of Black individuals by law enforcement and vigilantes.”
“To the extent the message is being used for reasons beyond that, it operates as a political umbrella for societal concerns and relates to the workplace only in the sense that workplaces are part of society,” Bogas noted further.
Rulings issued by administrative law judges can be appealed to the national board in Washington, D.C., which is currently controlled by Democrats. From there, cases can move into federal courts.
Last year, the NLRB alleged that the home improvement chain “selectively and disparately” enforced its dress code specifically to target imagery containing Black Lives Matter messages.
“The NLRA protects employees’ rights to raise these issues with the goal of improving their working conditions,” NLRB regional director Jennifer Hadsall noted in a statement at the time. “It is this important right we seek to protect in this case.”
“The Home Depot does not tolerate workplace harassment of any kind and takes all reports of discrimination or harassment seriously, as we did in this case,” Home Depot said last year. “We disagree with the characterization of this situation and look forward to sharing the facts during the NLRB’s process. Regardless of the outcome, we will continue to be fully committed to diversity and respect for all people.”
In March, the company again made headlines when someone leaked a training flyer online that led to accusations Home Depot had become “woke.”
In a separate report, Fox Business noted:
The flyer that was reportedly posted in a break room at a Calgary, Alberta, Home Depot showed the home improvement giant’s logo and was titled, “Leading Practices: Unpacking Privilege.” It asks employees to literally “check” their “privilege,” whether it be “white privilege,” class privilege,” “Christian privilege,” “cisgender privilege,” “able-bodied privilege,” or “heterosexual privilege.”
The Libs of TikTok Twitter account tweeted a photo of the training pamphlet.
Home Depot has gone woke pic.twitter.com/iCy3uMJ4VC
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) March 23, 2022
The two-page guide also encourages workers to talk about so-called ‘white privilege’ with colleagues and then offers advice and tips about how to do so.
Debate raged over the flyer online with “Home Depot” even trending for a time on Twitter.
“I came for a hammer and some mulch, not a woke eduction,” one individual tweeted. “Get in your lane Home Depot.”
I came for a hammer and some mulch, not a woke eduction.
Get in your lane Home Depot.
— Rock (@URdreamingnow) March 23, 2022
Others defended the training about privilege, however, with some saying that people who were criticizing it were “the problem.”